Quality grilling and barbequing adds a delectable aroma and taste to any meal, regardless of whether you’re eating alone or having a gathering. And using the right cooking implements can make or break the flavors when it comes to grilling. And today, we’ll be comparing two of the most common implements used in grilling – the George Foreman Grill vs. Gas grill.
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George Foreman Grill vs. Gas Grill: Which one packs the bigger punch?
We’ve chosen the GFG because it’s synonymous with quality electric grills. But we haven’t assigned a specific model to represent gas grills. That’s because gas grills are, frankly, too diverse and wide-ranging to restrict to just one model.
We’ll start by getting a quick overview of both grills and then move on to a head-to-head comparison in specific areas of grilling. When we’re done, you’ll be able to see a clear winner in the George Foreman Grill vs. Gas grill debate.
The George Foreman Grill
The George Foreman Grill epitomizes the popularity and convenience of quality electric grills. Popularized primarily by the champ George Foreman, it has sold over 100 million units since its inception back in 1995. Fifteen years later, the Premium and Advanced models of the GFG still dominate large parts of the electric grill market.
The GFG is a fully electric grill comes with its well-known two-sided cooking feature that ensures even cooking and saves time too (no flipping). With the trademark non-stick grill and sloping surface, it also allows excess fat to drain out into a separate container outside of the grill. So, you don’t have to deal with a messy aftermath and the resulting cleaning is much easier.
As a compact indoor grill, the GFG also saves space and sit anywhere on your kitchen counter or table. The size also makes it portable, but you’d still have to be indoors or have access to electricity, wherever your destination.
The GFG will cook a steak quickly but it won’t render those smoky, charred flavors you get in traditional grilling. And if you’re grilling something subtle like a fish fillet, it’s hard to get that precise consistency you want. Does George Forman Grill taste like BBQ? Not really.
The Gas Grill
Gas grills use gaseous fuel to create flames that do the cooking. So, the name is really an implication of fuel and not the real cooking mechanism. And if you’re grilling on flames, there are some clear advantages you get, especially with meat.
For one, it can emulate the real smoky barbeque-y taste you’d get from using traditional fuels like wood or charcoal. It cannot provide the same flavors as wood or retain consistent temperatures like charcoal, of course. But it comes pretty close.
Also, the expertise you’d need to control the flames and adjust the fuel is associated with gas grills too (besides wood and charcoal).
Gas grills need a constant supply of gaseous fuel. So, it can be a propane tank that you refill at the store or service station. Or you could connect it to your home’s gas line if you don’t plan to move it around. But you get to choose between portability and stable supply depending on your cooking plans.
The George Foreman Grill vs. Gas Grill: Head-to-Head
So, we already have a pretty fair understanding of what each unit entails. And you can probably already imagine scenarios where one is better than the other. To set the record straight, here’s a direct comparison of the two across different grilling parameters.
Quality of Grilled Food
Both the George Foreman Grill and the gas grill will offer quality taste. But it’s easier to get an evenly cooked item from the GFG, thanks to constant temperatures and the two-sided cooking.
However, your gas grill will add a decent smoky flavor thanks to the real flames doing the cooking. And if you’re experienced enough, getting even flames running isn’t too hard if you know how to operate your gas grill.
If you consider only the convenience and ease of use, the George Foreman Grill is the clear winner here. It’s literally a plug-and-play machine (or in this case, a plug-and-grill).
There’s virtually no learning curve and anyone can use it with zero experience. Plus the manual has a section dedicated to how you can best grill different food items. The gas grill, on the other hand, will require some experience before you can grill with the precise heat and grill levels you want.
The George Foreman Grill is a handy electric grill, but nothing else. There’s not a lot of experimenting or non-grill techniques you can try on this machine.
However, if you know how to use your gas grill correctly, you can play around with techniques and recipes. A good example is when seasoned pitmasters use the hottest zones for searing and keep the cooler zones for finishing the meat.
Surface Area for Cooking
The George Foreman Grill is primarily designed as a compact, counter-top grill. So, it doesn’t have a lot of cooking area to offer. Even the 9-Serving model barely offers 120 sq. inches of space. Gas grills, in comparison, can have anywhere from a couple hundred to more than 1000 sq. inches of cooking space.
This is the only parameter where the two items are exclusive and can cancel each other out. You can’t take your George Foreman Grill outdoors where there’s no electricity and you can’t use the gas grills indoors because of fumes and smoke.
Maintenance and Costs
Your George Foreman Grill will cost as little as $20 for a Classic 2-Serving Grill. And the GFG Evolve Grills can cost about $140 or less. So, as a starter grill it’s pretty budget-friendly. But for a real range of options, gas grills will provide alternatives that fit any budget.
Cleaning the GFG is super easy, while gas grills have more hassles like scraping of rust and residue, ensuring that components are intact, etc.
Gas grills may develop repairable damages if used for long. But these are mostly affordable and fixable. The George Foreman Grill, like other electric grills, will most likely have to be discarded if problems like a defective thermostat appear.
While the George Foreman Grill is superior in convenience and beginner-use, gas grills simply pack more punch in all other areas. With better flavors, more versatility, and more responsiveness to grilling expertise, using a gas grill outdoors will typically be the better choice in most cases.